News and Announcements
Tea Class – Puer Tea In San Francisco, Phil Parda is teaching the Specialty Tea Institute’s Level III, Pu-erh Tea class. The class is precise, hands-on, and includes pu-erh tea tastings. Phil knows his tea stuff. The first time that I heard him speak about pu-erh was at the STI tea symposium in Seattle about ten years ago. Classes [...]
Tea and Food Pairings I’ve never really given much thought to tea and food pairings. Ti Kuan Yin, Matcha and a Ceylon/Assam blend seem to be the tea caddies that I refill most often. When in a wild mood, I’ll make a pot of Sencha Kyoto, Kenya CTC or Assam FTGFOP. And never, ever a cup [...]
Tea and Food Culinary Class Tea In a Food Service Environment Savvy chefs and restaurateurs are including specialty tea in their menus - both culinary and beverage menus. Consumer interest and specialty tea sales have trended an upward surge over the last five years – okay, I’ll write it. Tea sales are HOT. Tea’s upward trends is somewhat comparative to specialty coffee. Guests expect a [...]
Gourmet Tea and Fancy Food The Specialty Food Association announced the winners of its second annual Leadership Awards honoring influential and innovative entrepreneurs who are transforming the way the $86 billion specialty food industry does business. The winners by category are: Citizenship: Tyler Gage, co-founder and co-CEO, Runa Tea, Brooklyn, N.Y. (shown here); Business Leadership: Ron Rubin, [...]
Five Inexpensive Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Revenue Everyone in the restaurant business is constantly looking for ways to improve their restaurant revenue and make more net profit. Everybody knows the expensive ways, like relocating or remodeling, but what about the inexpensive ways to improve your restaurant revenue? Here are five ideas worth considering. Revise Your Menu Some items [...]
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by tea alberti 1. How did you start your story with tea? - I’m not quite sure if I understand your question properly. Do you mean how I first started drinking tea? I actually talked about it in the Wall … Continue reading →
Placeres una nueva propuesta de TARAGÜI para disfrutar del momento del té sabores más acentuados aromas delicados + nuevo diseño. Se incorporan a la renovada línea de té combinaciones innovadoras de aromas y sabores deliciosos Para disfrutar del té en … Continue reading →
Zona Taragüi Y el mate llegó a los bares La nueva propuesta de Establecimiento Las Marías para disfrutar del mate en más de 100 bares. Llegás al bar y además de un café o un té podés disfrutar de otra … Continue reading →
Hostmaster Pattern / teacup by New Martinsville Glass Company
Vintage Youngsware China Fantasy Pattern
Noritake China April Cook N Serve Teacup ¿dónde consigo la taza? My Eclectic Heart
Details from Willow / colección Teapot diseño by Richard Brendon
Details from Willow / colección Teacup diseño by Richard Brendon
If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely already a lover of tea. You are exploring different types, snooping online and in shops for new teaware and accessories, and maybe turning the pages of the latest tea books. You all have loved ones who want to find you the perfect tea gift, but haven’t quite developed your same passion for the leaf. Let’s make it easy for them. While we all know that we’ll love ANY tea gift we receive (since it means that someone has taken the time to really think about what we like and to shop out of their comfort zone), here’s a guide to ten fun gift ideas for your favorite tea enthusiast!
Here are the first five (in no particular order):
This is a gift that is creative, useful, and just plain fun. These beautiful tin ornaments come pre-filled with one of their three holiday tea blends. I love that the recipient gets some yummy tea, but is then left with something they can keep and use. These would make great gifts for teachers and friends. (My friends should not click this link; otherwise you won’t be surprised when they show up at the holidays.)
Instead of choosing one tea, how about a selection of teas delivered every month? The Devotea’s Tea of the Month Club is a great, reasonably priced option. I’ve tried quite a few of this company’s teas and have gotten to know the owners over the past few years. I expect this program will introduce you to some amazing teas.
Some of you may remember that I used to do copywriting for this company so consider this full disclosure. That being said, this is one of my favorite products. I’ve given it as a gift to countless people. I love the convenience of the infuser and lid, but also the thickness of the tumbler and the overall design. The patterns are gorgeous. It is a great daily use item. This picture shows the three I currently own and I confess to having my eye on a couple of others. Again, I’ve often given these to friends, teachers, and even one of my kids’ friends who was just beginning to show an interest in tea.
I love the creativity this set allows. You receive a selection of teas along with spices, fruits and herbs for mixing in. Don’t worry. They give you a recipe book to get you started. Numi is an impressive company launched by a brother and sister back in 1999. They’ve been able to grow their company while also maintaining a substantial commitment to the environment and to sustainability.
This is definitely a gift for your serious tea enthusiast, the one who is also fascinated by the science of tea. Here you can purchase fresh tea leaves and, by following their instructions, attempt to create your own green teas or black teas. Before you know it, you’ll be withering tea leaves on cookie sheets and figuring out how to roll and dry them. Perhaps you’ll even delve into adding some scents and spices. This is definitely something I’d love to try and would be a gift that most tea lovers wouldn’t even know was a possibility.
So that’s my first round of tea gift ideas. Stay tuned for the next five later this week!
Lu Ann, author of The Cup Of Life, has been tagging up a storm, asking tea bloggers to answer a series of question and then tagging others to do the same. It’s a chain letter of sorts, but fortunately, she is not threatening us with destruction and mayhem if we don’t respond. My dear tea friend Robert of Lord Devotea’s Tea Spouts has asked me to play along so here goes…
1) First, let’s start with how you were introduced & fell in love with the wonderful beverage of tea.
Given that many of you have heard this tale, I’ll keep it short. My childhood tea only included Lipton tea with a heavy pour of milk and many spoonfuls of sugar when I was sick or the occasionally (likely bacteria-laden) sun tea in the summer. I also watched my grandmother routinely dry her teabags so she could use them for multiple meals. It was just after college that I encountered my first tea cafe that served more than 80 kinds of loose leaf tea and an obsession was born.
2) What was the very first tea blend that you ever tried?
3) When did you start your tea blog & what was your hope for creating it?
4) List one thing most rewarding about your blog & one thing most discouraging.
5) What type of tea are you most likely to be caught sipping on?
6) Favourite tea latte to indulge in?
7) Favourite treat to pair with your tea?
8) If there was one place in the World that you could explore the tea culture at, where would it be & why?
9) Any tea time rituals you have that you’d like to share?
10) Time of day you enjoy drinking tea the most: Morning, Noon, Night or Anytime?
11) What’s one thing you wish for tea in the future?
– Who do you tag?
When you consider the perfect balance of taste, tea liquid color, and processing it’s undeniable: White Peony is one of the simplest, most elegant teas around. White Peony comes from the “Large White” varietal from Fujian.
This tea is picked with the downy bud and first leaf attached. Occasionally, you’ll see the bud with two leaves.
This tea is very delicate and is handled very gently during all stages of processing to preserve bud and leaf shape, and to avoid the bruising that would create undesired changes in taste.
White Peony has a high fragrance and top dry notes of muscat. This tea is sublime in the morning to wake up to, refreshing in the afternoon, or after any meal.
With sweet middle notes of tangerine and base notes of fresh hay, this tea has a clean taste and soothing qualities. White teas have the least oxidized leaves and buds and therefore offer the most anti-oxidants of all teas. This tea is from an unusually early picking and was picked before the Qing Ming festival. This is the first time I’ve seen Pre-Qing Ming White Peony on the US market. Because of this, it’s on the rare tea page, and is extremely reasonably priced. Check it out, along with Red Circle’s other rare teas here: http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/black_rare/redcircleteas_black_rare.html
Purple Orchid is one of the most famous of Dan Chong teas. To me it stood out this year as heads and shoulders above the dozens of Dan Chong Teas I tried, and that has a lot to do with its provinance and when it was picked. This Purple Orchid DC was picked before April 4th, before the Qing Ming festival honoring ancestors who have passed. The date is marked on every farmer’s almanac as the beginning of the picking season. But, in rare years, under special circumstances tea buds earlier, and if the weather is just right, and the picking and processing are just right, you wind up with an exceptional tea. This is such a tea. The dry leaves have notes of lichee and purple grapes. But this tea has great character.
Wet and warm the leaves, and a surprise is waiting. Notes of dry sweet almond are evoked, nutty and slightly spicy.
The aroma of the steeping tea fills the room.
The resulting cup is creamy, caramely and nutty, and reminds me of sitting in a restaurant and a waiter passes by with another guests desert of freshly caramelized flan.
This is a sumptuous tea, indulgent and relaxing. Check out all the Dan Chong Oolongs here: http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/oolong/redcircleteas_oolong.html
Long Jing – or Dragon’s Well. There really is a well at the top of Shi Feng peak in Long Jing Village outside of Hangzhou, China. Shi Feng (Lion’s Peak) is where the best Dragonwell comes from. The soil is sandier, it slows the uptake of minerals and results in a delicate taste and high fragrance indicative of the best teas this area has to offer.
So how do you judge good tea – how do you know what you’re looking at? Well, when you evaluate Long Jing tea, first look at the dry leaves: They should be uniform, straight (not splayed) and the best are slightly yellow.
Have a look at a first steeping of these leaves.
And the liquid is a perfect light yellow green color and the consistency is like silk.
The classic flavor profile of this tea is sweet chestnuts and a gentle green bean taste with high notes of sweet grass and springtime on a mountain (I’m not sure that’s a flavor, or aroma, but I’ve smelled it standing in a tea field, so I’m going to go with it). Think chlorophyll. Green, a life-force taste of freshness. The flavor lingers gently for at least an hour in your mouth, and this tea gives more steepings than a normal green tea, it will steep 6 – 7 times in a gong fu clay pot and 5 – 6 times in a Gaiwan.
This year’s Pre-Qing Ming harvest festival tea is rock solid. This is the kind quality of Long Jing tea you have come to expect from Red Circle Tea – absolutely the best on the US market. Period. If by some horrible coincidence, you haven’t had the Long Jing I buy, may I humbly suggest you make this investment in the following: your tea drawer will thank you, your palate will thank you, your friends will thank you- should you be magnanimous enough to share – which you should be: great tea is meant to be shared. But you will get the deepest thanks and return on investment from your tea education. There is only one way to learn tea, through drinking it. Sure, you can talk to educators to learn about tea, ceremonies, specifics like soil content and elevation, but really learning to take tea into your culinary repertoire requires that you drink it. And on occasion you must make an investment in that learning process. You must drink good tea at some point to really appreciate tea. If you drink tea, if you want to know tea, if you appreciate tea; you can understand this tea by tasting it. And I cordially invite you to do just that!
Pre-Qing Ming Dragonwell (Long Jing) is available for sale right now at: http://redcircletea.com/redcircleteas/green/redcircleteas_green.html